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4                                  LETTERS   FROM   THE

August 2nd.

The King has been stabbed, but not danger-
ously, as he got into his carriage, by Margaret
Nicholson, a madwoman. She was seized imme-
diately, but he insisted upon her not having any
further punishment than being conveyed to Bed-
lam. "She must be mad, she must be mad," he
repeated, "to want to kill me." I presume Louis
Quinze did not feel the same certainty of mad-
ness in a similar case, when Damien was drawn
asunder by four horses.1

TO  SIR EDWARD SWINBURNE,

Paris, September ijth, 1786,

DEAR BROTHER,óWe arrived here safe and
well, after staying a week in Normandy. Our
passage from Brighthelmstone was pleasant enough,

i Robert Frangois Damien, who attempted to assas-
sinate Louis XV. on the 4th of January, 1757, was the
son of a porter at Arras, and a man of such bad char-
acter, that he went by the name of Robert le Diable.
The tortures which this wretch endured, in order to make
him confess his motives and accomplices, exceeds all belief.
His flesh was torn to pieces with red-hot pincers. Boiling
oil and lead were thrown upon the wounds; his limbs
were cut off in detail, and he did not expire until the
last was hacked from his body.